Today we continue to teach on our overall theme for the year: “GREAT FREEDOM.” Within this series, we have been honing in on the importance of your words. We will continue to flow in this vein today.
We have been looking at 2 Corinthians 4:13 for a while. In this series, we already looked at the situation where Jesus spoke to a fig tree. I feel led to go back to that story again this morning as we seek to close out the week strong. Let’s get into it.
(2 Corinthians 4:13 NIV)
It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak.
(Mark 11:22-25 NLT)
Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God. I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours. But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.”
You should know the story by now. But here is a quick recap. On the day Jesus cleaned out the moneychangers from the temple He got up focused on the assignment at hand. Jesus left Mary, Martha, and Lazarus’ house without eating breakfast. As Jesus and His disciples walked to Jerusalem He saw a fig tree full of leaves. Jesus approached the tree to get some figs, but did not find any. Jesus spoke to the tree and said, “May no one ever eat your fruit again,” the disciples heard what He said. After Jesus made the statement, they all moved on. That might not have sounded like a prayer to you, but as we have learned in this series, it was a form of prayer. I will highlight two quick things about it. First, Jesus never said or did anything He was not led of the Father to say or do (see John 5:19,20,30), so He was obviously agreeing (in the earth) for heaven’s will to be done, which is a type of prayer. Second, later Jesus used this as an example of how we should pray.
The next morning Jesus and His disciples headed back to Jerusalem on the same path and Peter realized the tree was withered up from the roots. Peter was amazed and said, “Master, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!” Jesus was not amazed at all. When Jesus prayed the day prior He fully expected His prayer to come to pass. While the tree did not visibly change at the time, Jesus did not need sense-realm evidence to bolster His faith. Jesus fully believed His prayer and He walked away like it was already done. Now, 24 hours later, standing by the withered tree, Jesus used this situation to teach His disciples (and us) about prayer. This is when He said, “Have faith in God…” and He went on to share the rest of our text. Now that you know the context, please read our text carefully and thoughtfully.
For today I will focus on the words “Have faith in God.” These words are actually better translated, “Have the faith of God” or “Have the God-kind of faith.”
So what does this mean for you today? I will answer by talking about the God-kind of faith. What is the God-kind of faith?
1. What is the God-kind of faith? It’s the faith that openly agrees, OUT LOUD, in the earth, for God’s Kingdom plans and purposes, which are revealed from the UNSEEN world, to be manifested in the world we can see. We all know that God wants His will to be done, on earth, as it is in heaven. Well, this is the type of faith that helps facilitate that. When God finds this type of faith in the earth, in a human, the human is able to be used of God to manifest heaven-on-earth. That’s what Jesus did and we are supposed to live the same way. Instead of living your life focused on going to heaven SOMEDAY, live your life focused on bringing heaven to the earth EVERY DAY!
2. What is the God-kind of faith? It’s the faith that publicly declares what it believes the Father wants to do, even when it flies in the face of human logic, reason, and common-sense. This faith openly says what God is saying to you, at the risk of looking foolish, fully knowing that if God does not do it, it will not get done! This can apply to your health, finances, marriage, career, business, etc. This type of faith believes God and “takes God public”, fully knowing that what you are saying can ONLY be performed by God. This leaves you completely vulnerable. You know that if God Himself does not do it, it will not get done. Jesus walked away from that fig tree knowing that the Father had to ensure it died. He had no human way of forcing a tree to dry up from the roots. He had to rely on the Father and the Father alone. When we exhibit this type of faith in a very public way, at the risk of looking foolish, completely vulnerable, totally relying on God, I believe our heavenly Father is very pleased. This is the type of faith He is looking for. And believe me, if God truly led you to say it, and you say it, OUT LOUD, at the risk of looking foolish, God will not allow you to look stupid! He has done this for me many times. God will show up and show out in your life when you provide the faith He is looking for. You provide the faith, He provides the power!
Now I feel led to provide you a warning on this one. To be clear, this does NOT mean that God is obligated to back up whatever you say! God is NOT looking over YOUR WORDS to perform them. He is looking over HIS WORDS to perform them on the earth (see Jer 1:12). So when you say what God is saying to you, God will back up what you are saying. Because what you are saying is what He is saying and He will never allow His words to return to Him void. But when you come up with something on your own, and you say it OUT LOUD, and you add “In Jesus’ name” to the end of it, that does NOT mean God is obligated to perform it. Faith is not about you trying to get God to put a “YES” on your plans. Faith is about God trying to get you to put a “YES” on His plans, no matter how impossible or supernatural they may seem! This clarification is necessary, because some people just say all kinds of crazy things, and they add “In Jesus name” to the end of it, and they call that faith. Faith begins in God’s heart, not yours!
3. What is the God-kind of faith? It’s the faith that walks away from prayer, without any sense-realm evidence to support it, fully believing that the prayer will come to pass in the fullness of God’s timing. A person who operates in this kind of faith is not moved by what they see in the natural. Jesus was not moved by the fact that nothing seemingly happened to the tree when He said it. He walked away like it was already done and He did not allow what He saw to change what He said or believed. You have to be the same way. When you pray something you believe to be the will of God, it may not happen for days, weeks, months or years. While you are waiting on God, you cannot be moved by what you see! You must only be moved by what God said!
4. What is the God-kind of faith? It’s the faith that is so convinced that what it speaks will come to pass (because it was clearly the will of God being revealed), that it NEVER speaks a contrary word to what was prayed. This person understands the power of words. So he/she NEVER speaks a word against what they prayed, because contrary words will cancel out the prayer. Words of prayer must be followed by words of faith. What you say in your prayer closet must be consistent with what you say all day, and what you say in the space between the promise and the performance!
Declaration of Faith:
Father, every day of my life I want to be more and more like Jesus. Jesus spoke to a fig tree, fully believing that what He said would come to pass, and He walked away like it was already done. By faith I declare that live the same way. In my prayer life, I pray as Jesus prayed. I spend time with You Father, You reveal to me Your Kingdom plans and purposes to me, and I agree with You, in the earth, for those things to come to pass. I take You public and I openly declare my prayers, even at the risk of looking foolish. I believe I receive when I pray. I overcome fear, doubt, and unbelief. I have the God-kind of faith and I operate in it daily! I declare this by faith! In Jesus’ name. Amen!
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!